Several weeks ago, an insert appeared in our Sunday Morning church bulletin advertising the SCCN (Sedgewick Community Church of the Nazarene) Magical Mystery Tour. “Come ride the bus to our unannounced destination for a fantastic fun filled day of fellowship and food” it proclaimed. Today’s date was given, but very few other details.
I checked the calendar and the day was open. What fun! Those of you who know me well or who’ve been following my blog for very long know that I like nothing better than packing up and going somewhere. Anywhere, whether it be a day trip or a year in Japan, I’m game to go! It’s the gypsy in my blood!
At 10:30 this morning approximately 30 of us gathered in front of the church. “Where do you think we’re going?” some asked while others tried to guess. The 32 passenger County of Flagstaff community bus pulled up and we knew we’d be traveling in style. With temperatures of over 30ºC forecast, we’d definitely appreciate the air conditioning!
I’ve always been the travel planner in our family. For me, part of the fun of traveling is the planning that usually goes into it, but today I felt like a kid climbing aboard the bus with absolutely no idea where it was going to take me! Soon we were headed north, passing vast fields of bright yellow canola in bloom. Perhaps we were going to Viking, hometown of the Sutters, one of the most famous families in NHL history. Six of the seven Sutter brothers made it to the National Hockey League in the 1970s and 80s and four of them went on to become coaches and general managers. Half an hour north of Sedgewick, Viking is also hometown to our Mystery Tour organizer. Perhaps she knew of something interesting for us to do in the small town of just over 1000 people. But no, the bus continued onward.
When we turned west on Highway 16, we began to speculate that our destination might be Vegreville, home of the world’s largest pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg). Sure enough, though we passed by the giant egg, the bus pulled into town and stopped at the historic train station. Built in 1930, it now houses the Station Cafe where a delicious buffet of authentic Ukrainian food awaited us. After relaxing around the tables, we were given a tour of the building. Many of us decided that we’d happily move into the beautifully renovated upper story that once housed the station master’s family.
Our second stop was, in fact, the park with the 9.4 metre high pysanka that reflects the traditional art of the many Ukrainian settlers who made this part of Alberta their home.
A stop for ice cream in Viking on the way home rounded out our day. Though the results of my most recent glucose tests were pretty good, I am pre diabetic and I’d already indulged in a small dessert back at the train station so I knew I’d better forgo another sweet treat. Besides, after filling up on cabbage rolls, perogies and other Ukrainian delights, I wasn’t the least bit hungry!
The Magical Mystery Tour was definitely all that it promised to be; a day filled with fun, fellowship and fantastic food. In fact, some of us are hoping that a new SCCN tradition has been born!